Business Consulting

I am a licensed clinical social worker and established business consultant with over 30 years of experience helping teams of professionals, individuals, and couples lead more productive and fulfilling lives. I have been CEO of a manufacturing company and have consulted with businesses of varying size on succession planning and strategic management. For seven years I facilitated a monthly meeting of CEOs I had advised. They served one another and received service from me, all in an advisory capacity.

I have written and delivered a year-long program focused on succession planning for a cooperative of highly experienced insurance-firm producers and this engagement was repeated for a second year with a second group of producers. I have consistently discovered that I am adept at helping CEOs and their staffs gain the clarity and focus necessary to propel their companies to excellence and in so doing, rediscover the heart and passion of their business.

In 1992 my grandfather suffered a stroke. While he lived for several more years, he was 82 years old at the time, and still at the helm of the granite memorial company he had founded in 1927. Within a matter of days it was clear that he would not be able to return to work. This created a problem as the company did not have a succession plan in place and did have internal factions competing for control.

I was happily married and had just given birth to our second child. I was not considered a contender for the position of company president. Besides, I had never worked at the company, and had but a year earlier left my fulltime position as a social worker at a Community Family Service and Mental Health Center in order to open a part-time private practice. And yet, two weeks later, I was indeed the president.

I quickly learned to handle labor negotiations, address corporate issues, work within a web of differing family interests, gain grassroots employee support, implement improved systems of work flow, and benchmark within the industry nationwide.

I also learned as a result of the fire that struck six months into my leadership. Thankfully nobody was injured, but the fire destroyed a section of the facility including the electrical power supply. Competitors were quick to tell our customers that we were “down for the count” and unable to complete the season’s fabrication, delivery and installation. But through good fortune and my hiring of a great public adjuster, we were soon back in business and indeed, able to complete our season.

I rebuilt the company, operated it, and eventually sold it. Somewhere along the way, I discovered that the skills of a social worker are also applicable to business. I am adept at identifying problems, breaking them down into their component parts, analyzing them, and creating new and improved solutions. In assisting any company to be the best that it can be, it is important to listen to the voices of as many of the stakeholders as possible in order to help them formulate a comprehensive plan that meets their shared goals. Of course the plan must meet the goals of the ownership, but it is also important to consider the effects of the outcome on other stakeholders including employees, family members, customers/clients/patients, and to include them in the planning process when possible.

After the sale of the company and consulting during the transition to new ownership, I discovered the field of family business consulting and joined a boutique firm that specialized in addressing the unique dynamics inherent in family business. Two years later I relaunched my private practice with the addition of personal and corporate consulting.

Rhanda Salameh, MSW, LCSW
630.655.3923 · ·
Currently living in Evanston, IL. Helping people in Chicago and suburbs and around the world, in person and/or via the Internet.